Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.

October 24: Midday Fix - Halloween Desserts

Blue Plate Catering
1061 W Van Buren

Spiced Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern Cake Pops
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cake pops (or 4 dozen mini cupcakes)

What you will need:
Any size cake pan or baking sheet
electric mixer or stand mixer or a whisk
measuring spoons and cups
1/2 ounce or 1 ounce portion scoop
Baking Sheet

Pumpkin Cake:

5 eggs
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

In a mixer, whip the eggs, sugar and oil together until fluffy. Add the pumpkin purée and continue to whip until combined. Sift the dry ingredients and add in three increments, mixing between each addition. Place the batter in any size baking pan that is available. Bake at 325F until toothpick comes out clean. The baking time varies depending on the size of the pan. (ie: mini cupcakes will take about 8-10 minutes). Cool.

Cinnamon Buttercream:
1 lb. granulated sugar
1 cup egg whites
1 lb. butter
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Whisk the sugar and egg whites together over a double boiler until the sugar dissolves. In a mixer pour the egg/sugar mix and whip until it reaches room temperature. Slowly add pieces of butter while whipping until creamy.

1 lb. white chocolate wafers, orange
1 eachEdible Ink black marker
36 green lollipop sticks

After the cake has cooled, place it in a bowl and crumble it by hand. Add the buttercream spoonfuls at time until you reach the right binding consistency. You may use a small portion scoop approximately 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce in size depending on how large the desired cake pop will be. (If a portion scoop isn't available you can use a tablespoon to divide the balls equally). Roll each ball using the palm of your hands until it forms a smooth dense ball. Place a lollipop stick in the center and stick it all the way through, just right before it pokes out the other end. Put the cake pops in the freezer for a few minutes to solidify the binding buttercream. Meanwhile, in a microwave safe bowl, place the orange wafers and heat in 10 second increments, stirring after each time until fully melted. DO NOT OVER HEAT OR CHOCOLATE WILL BURN. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper and take the pops out of the freezer. Dip each pop into the orange glaze until fully coated and let it set on the paper lined cookie sheet. (If the glaze appears translucent, dip a second time to create a more opaque shell.) When the chocolate sets, draw a variety of jack-o-lantern faces on each pop. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Vampire Bite-Sized Blood Red Velvet Cheesecake

What you will need:
mini muffin flexible silicone molds (heat-safe for baking) or 2 oz. disposable aluminum cups
electric mixer or stand mixer or a whisk
measuring spoons and cups
baking sheet
cooling rack

Red Velvet Cake
Yield: approximately 24 bases

1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
5 fl. oz. vegetable oil
2 whole eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1 3/4 Tbs. cocoa powder
1/3 cup (packed) cake flour
1/4 cup (packed) bread flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 fl. oz. buttermilk
1 1/2 Tbs. red food coloring
as needed, non-stick spray

In a mixing bowl, whip the sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to whip well. Sift the cocoa powder, cake flour, bread flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the mixture in three increments and mix well with each addition. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that the dry ingredients are incorporated well. Continue to whip and stream in the buttermilk while whipping.Add the red food coloring and mix until fully incorporated.


24 oz. (2 packages) cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 each whole eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a mixing bowl, cream the cream cheese and sugar and mix well. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and continue to mix until soft.Add the eggs one at a time making sure the eggs are fully incorporated before adding the next. (Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition). Add the heavy cream and continue to mix. The mixture should be free of lumps.
Spray the mold generously with non-stick spray. Portion 2 Tbs. of red velvet batter per mold and bake at 325 for approximately 5-7 minutes. Cool.Reduce the oven temperature to 300. When the cake has completely cooled. Portion 3-4 Tbs. of cheesecake batter into each mold on top of the red velvet cake. Place the mold on top of a cookie sheet and into the oven. Fill the cookie sheet with hot water approximately ½" full. Bake uncovered at 300 for approximately 15-25 minutes, until cheesecake is firm. (If it browns too quickly, reduce the oven temperature to 280).Cool to room temperature then freeze until solid. After it's frozen, pop them out of the mold and keep them in the freezer until they're ready to glaze.
"Bloody" Glaze

1 cup white chocolate wafers, red

In a microwave safe bowl, place the red wafers and heat in 10 second increments, stirring after each time until fully melted. DO NOT OVER HEAT OR CHOCOLATE WILL BURN. Line a cookie sheet with a cooling rack. Take the red velvet cheesecakes out of the freezer and place on top of the rack. Use a spoon to pour a small puddle of glaze in the center of the cheesecake, continue to pour until the glaze starts to drip along the sides resembling melted candle wax. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Halloween Shortbread Cut-Outs

What you will need:

electric mixer or stand mixer (or a wooden spoon to mix manually)
measuring spoons and cups
baking sheet
cooling rack

The following items are available at most craft stores:
assorted edible color gels assorted colored sugarassorted colored edible ink pens
Parchment Paper Cones or Pastry Bags with small round tip
Assorted Halloween Cookie Cutters


1 lb. butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 egg yolks, room temperature
1 whole egg, room temperature
3 Tbs. corn syrup
1 cup cake flour
1 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt

In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until combined. Combine the vanilla, yolks and egg and slowly add while mixing until fully incorporated.Add the corn syrup and mix well. Sift both flours and salt and add in two increments, mix well but DO NOT OVERMIX. Form the dough into a flat brick and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for about an hour until firm. When firm, roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick (the thicker the cookie, the more tender the end product and longer the shelf life). Cut out desired shapes. You may re-form and re-roll any remaining scrap dough (it will not affect the end product), just make sure you chill the dough between rolling, so you can get nice clean cut-outs. Bake the cookies at 325 for about 7-10 minutes until the edges are slightly golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Basic Royal Icing

2 cups powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
as needed, assorted edible color gels

The trick to making royal icing is getting the right consistency for each application. There are usually two different consistencies that you want to match: 1). Dipping consistency for the base coating. 2). Piping consistency for detailing. The recipe provided is just a guideline, however, you may need to adjust the ratio of powdered sugar to egg white depending on the use of royal icing. For example, when dipping the base coat, the consistency should be fluid and smooth enough to coat, but thick enough so that the base isn't translucent. For detailing, the ratio of powdered sugar increases to thicken the icing so that it's not as runny when it's piped. You can make a mother batch of white basic royal icing and split it into however many colors you may want to use. After the all the cookies get their base coat, add more powdered sugar to each bowl to create a thicker frosting consistency. The key to piping the border and detailing is a lot of patience and practice. Don't be discouraged if your piping isn't flawless the first few times. Get a feel for the pastry bag and the way you squeeze out the icing, from the amount of pressure you apply to the speed of your hand movement. Remember, practice makes perfect and always try to have fun doing it.

For Halloween inspired cookies, there are many ways of decorating. You can use different sugars and candies to accessorize. Start with something simple, like a pumpkin or a ghost. As your skill progresses, you can increase the level of difficulty for each design.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun